Wednesday, July 21, 2010
After my disappointing encounter with a Clafoutis, I decided to go back to basics the next day and make meself a plain ol' cake. Initially, I had planned on baking my regular butter cake (see here and here), just to eat my heart out. Butter is one of my favourite natural remedies for depression, and not surprisingly, I found myself craving for a buttery cake, as a salve for my "distress" over that cherry fiasco.
It so happened that while I was waiting for the butter to soften, I decided to squeeze some OJ for my son. And that triggered a series of fortunate events.
On a whim, I thought, why not grate the zest to flavour the cake? And that was what I did. Two large navel oranges rendered approximately 1 1/2 tbsps of zest. In the original butter cake recipe, vanilla is added, but I decided to bench my bottle of extract, to allow the flavour of orange to stand out.
So in went the zest, and out came an Orange Butter Cake that was wonderfully moist and delightfully fragrant. I had expected a subtle hint of orange because I did not add any juice but was pleasantly surprised to find, instead, a strong citrusy flavour. The zest single-handedly delivered the punch.
Here's the cake batter, in a lovely shade of sunshine.
Tent with foil if you see the top browning too quickly. I did so towards the latter half of baking.
It's best to wait till the cake is completely cooled before slicing, else it might crumble as you cut. *guilty look* And woncha lookie here, the texture is just gorgeous, ain't it? I have always loved this butter cake recipe ... and now, with the addition of zest, you get a golden, buttery cake that is speckled with pretty bits of orange.
- 195g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 170g butter, softened
- 225g sugar
- 1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tbsp orange zest
- 12 tbsp whole milk
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Butter and line a 9-inch* cake pan.
* Update (23 July 2010): Two of my readers gave feedback that their cakes did not rise much in a 9-inch pan. I thank them for writing. I do not have a 9-inch pan (except a loose-bottom one which I use for cheesecakes only). So, what I always do is, I'll pour the batter into my 6-inch pan (just slightly above than the halfway mark) and pour the excess in cupcake tins, and I'll bake everything together. My experience to-date is that the cake rises really well, and always looks as if it will overflow. ;) Another reader, bakertan, suggested that, judging from the amount of batter, perhaps an 8-inch pan would be more suitable. Please do read my comment box for the full "discourse". Thank you readers, for sharing. I learn as much from you as you learn from me. :)
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Using a mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy for about about 2 minutes.
4. Beat in orange zest, then egg and egg yolk. If the mixture curdles, just add 1 tbsp of flour and continue mixing.
5. On low speed, add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with milk.
6. Switch mixer to medium and beat for 10 to 15 seconds, just until batter appears uniform. The batter should look thick and creamy.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula or knife.
8. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until it reaches a dark-gold color and an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
9. Let to rest in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cake stand or platter. Allow cake to completely cool before slicing.
After a few scrummy slices, I felt completely redeemed and my world was at peace again. Cherry who?